Only a few days into the fledgling fall TV season, it already feels less about what’s on than about who’s on, thanks to an influx of cutesy celebrity cameos. Jennifer Aniston just appeared on the premiere of Cougar Town with her old Friend Courteney Cox. When Chuck needed a repo man, it logically turned to Repo Man, a.k.a. Harry Dean Stanton. And last week, Smallville revealed that Teri Hatcher — who played Lois Lane fifteen years ago on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman — will pop by as Lois’s mother this season. (If that makes us feel old, we can’t imagine how The Hatch feels.) If three’s a trend, we’re officially on a roll. So why stop? We’ve compiled a slideshow of stunt-casting suggestions guaranteed to give a variety of shows a nice boost — or at least make for a fairly entertaining 30-second promo. (For more from the Fug Girls, visit GoFugYourself.com.)
Obviously, Julianna Margulies’s Alicia Florrick has all she can handle, what with being married to a politician who is by turns a snake, a charmer, and a snake-charmer — not to mention that she and her boss (Josh Charles) have sexual tension so thick it would thwart a machete. But imagine how delicious it’d be if, say, she had to take her kids to the doctor, and the pediatrician turned out to be none other than her ex-ER co-star George Clooney, as — oh, let’s call him Dr. Ross Douglas. In fact, we’d advocate setting an entire episode in Dr. Douglas’s office. And then, if Cloons is in a giving mood, his character could get sued for malpractice and need a lawyer … and the stress could cause him to develop an extremely rare, tragic pants allergy. Truly, the story-line potential is endless.
This critically adored new show totally tanked out of the gate, but Fox claims it’s going to give it more time. To gain traction among the older viewers and ex–Charlie Sheen call girls who are glued to Two and a Half Men, we think Lone Star should stop insisting it’s a less-campy Dallas and instead become … well, Dallas. At the very least, juice up an hour or two by putting a Stetson back on Hagman’s head and letting him reanimate J.R. Ewing. Hagman would crack patriarch Jon Voight’s waxy veneer in two seconds. Bonus points if they can get Linda Gray to come by and sit in the background sucking on various different bottles of whiskey, because you know Sue Ellen is not on the wagon anymore.
The easy idea here is to get the last living main cast member of the original Hawaii 5-0, James “Danno” MacArthur, to swing by. To which we say: BORING. Yes, Lost’s island — where Ben and Hurley stayed behind to manage the glowing-whatever and the smoke-yada-yada — was technically supposed to be a random part of the South Pacific, but we all know it was actually Hawaii. So let’s reunite the boys with Daniel Dae Kim by having Emerson and Garcia stroll into Jin’s restaurant — er, we mean, Chin Ho Kelly’s restaurant — and ask if they have any Dharma beer on tap. Actually, we don’t even need to hear them talk. In fact, it might be funnier if they’re just there. Lurking. Picking their teeth with some Black Rock dynamite and wearing shoes made out of a piece of the tail section.
Jimmy Smits is already up against the wall with his new series, a legal drama running in the Friday-at-ten dead zone, opposite Tom Selleck’s more favorably reviewed Blue Bloods. So he should unsheath the big gun and get his old love interest from L.A. Law, Susan Dey, to slam a car trunk with a personalized plate on it, waltz into his office, and stir up some sexual tension. Granted, this will probably only appeal to people who were watching TV twenty years ago, but then again, those are also now the people most likely to be at home watching TV on Friday nights.
This show probably won’t have any trouble grabbing Arrested Development vets (indeed, it’s already got David Cross), so it’s time to reach out to all the ladies who enjoyed watching Speedman and Keri Russell pine for each other lo those many years ago on Felicity. Will Arnett’s throaty baritone will mesh so nicely with Speedman’s perpetual husky whisper as they fight for Russell’s honor, or over whether her hair looked better curly, or, um, global warming, or — you know, whatever it is they talk about on that show.
The Vampire Diaries is pretty great in its own right, but wouldn’t it be better if Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself swung through town to sass the blood-sucking Salvatore brothers for a week or two? Picture it: She’s on the trail of some random hell-raising vamp terrorizing the next town over, and they’ve got some intel she needs (all those fictional vampires know each other, right?). Surely the boys could entice Buffy to put down the stakes and pick up some whiskey shooters as they exchange snarky trade-secrets and engage in minor blackmail.
Everybody’s clamoring for Gervais to replace Steve Carell’s Michael Scott when he leaves Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. But Gervais quite rightly pointed out that he makes plenty of cash off the show without needing to put in the man hours, and also, that his character from the original British version — David Brent — was sacked for being incompetent. So we vote for a wee cameo in which Brent appears for an interview, and is dismissed almost on sight. That should satisfy the public yen for a crossover, while also giving the proper nod to the fact that David was, shall we say, an utter wally.
This one’s a no-brainer. Joshua Jackson always displays a great sense of humor about his Dawson’s Creek past; we’ve heard rumors people teasingly call him Pacey on the Fringe set. So make The Beek grow back the hair claw that used to menace his forehead, and bring him on as Lawson Cleery, the boyhood friend of Jackson’s Peter, whose unholy bangs will turn out to have exactly the kind of ooky, freaky, paranormal origins we’ve come to expect from a show like The X-Files — oops, we mean, Fringe.
Phoenix’s role in the original Parenthood was his last before he reverted to “Joaquin” from “Leaf.” Right now, the name Joaquin is most closely associated with a demi-vagrant whose impropriety, disinterest in hygiene, brief rap career, and odd mental lapses were captured on film for I’m Still Here. And even though he’s claiming that was a hoax, the stench of creepy is still in the air, so we suggest he try and recapture the magic of his movie past by visiting the TV spinoff of Parenthood (and maybe be credited as “Leaf” again). The best way to make the world believe you’re actually boring and normal is via a nice family drama — just ask Jessica “7th Heaven” Biel — and Phoenix is obviously eminently qualified for the Very Special Episode trope wherein the smelly homeless drifter they take in at Thanksgiving cleans up nice and turns out to have a Purple Heart.
Imagine the drama when Mrs. Tom Brady makes a brief appearance as a romantic rival to Brady’s ex, Bridget Moynahan — no, wait. That’s too mean, even for us.